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Coach Jennings suspended by Rangers

Keith Jennings' status as head coach of relegation threatened Southampton Rangers is hanging by a thread.

The ex-North Village and Bermuda midfielder has been suspended by his club for allegedly assaulting a match official amid growing speculation that his days as Rangers' coach are now behind him.

Kwame Tucker has been appointed as Rangers' interim coach in the absence of Jennings whose one-year coaching contract has nearly expired.

Craig Darrell, who was Jennings' assistant coach, is currently serving a ten-game Bermuda Football Association (BFA) imposed ban for bringing the game into disrepute.

Jennings was due to appear before the BFA's disciplinary committee yesterday to face charges of assaulting referee Stephen Allen following Rangers' controversial 2-1 loss to Dandy Town at Southampton Oval on February 26.

Jennings' rant was condemned by Bermuda Referees Association (BRA) who had vowed to boycott matches at Southampton Oval unless security was beefed up.

“The behaviour displayed by Rangers officials, players and fans was deplorable to put it lightly”, stated BRA president Kuhn Evans.

However, following a series of emergency meetings involving all stakeholders the BRA eventually had a change of heart after being assured that “all measures will be implemented as standard operating procedures for the remaining games of the season” to ensure their members' safety.

“Football is resolute in its mission and will not be deterred by the negative actions of a few,” read a BFA statement.

Tempers initially flared at Southampton Oval during last month's ill-fated Premier match between Rangers and Hornets after referee Allen awarded the visitors a late penalty that proved to be the game winner.

According to eyewitnesses, Jennings blasted the referee with the ball after the final whistle and also hurled threatening and abusive language at him near the officials' dressing room. And his outburst has reportedly upset many at his club.

“For Keith to allow his emotions to take over wasn't good at all and has caused a PR nightmare for us,” said one anonymous club source. “Keith has been suspended until the club officially sit down with him because it was important for us to show the disciplinary board (BFA) that we took actions already.

“Kwame (Tucker) is the head coach until the end of the season.”

Last month's assault on ref Allen was the second on a match official at Southampton Oval this season.

Hornets player Zaki Tuzo received a six-game ban after being found guilty of threatening a match official with his boot following his team's league match with PHC.

Earlier this year the BFA imposed a two-and-a-half-year ban on Somerset Trojans player Zaki Iris to send a strong reminder that unruly behaviour would no longer be tolerated in the game.

Hot water: Keith Jennings

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Published March 07, 2012 at 1:00 am (Updated March 07, 2012 at 8:11 am)

Coach Jennings suspended by Rangers

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